The Minorite Church, Tîrgu-Mureş

The Minorite monks settled in Tîrgu-Mureş at the beginning of the 18th century, hosted by count Keresztes Márton József in his home inside the fortress. As soon as the fortress was turned into an Austrian military headquarters, the houses were destroyed; therefore the Minorites had to move to Curteni, a village a few kilometers away from the city.

It is unknown when the works on the church and monastery dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua began. The inscription on its façade indicates the year 1725, in contradiction with the documents that certify the arrival of the Minorites in Tîrgu Mureş in 1726. Most sources indicate that the works were initiated sometime between 1735 and 1740. The building complex was conceived initially as the most sumptuous religious edifice in town, but was not finalized due to lack of funding.

The first stage of construction was finalized in 1767, in a very sober Baroque style as far as decorations are concerned, but at its best in terms of structural solutions. The complex included the church with a wooden tower and a long, two-storey building attached to the church. In 1892, the entrance and the wooden tower were re-built out of bricks, and at the beginning of the 20th century the monastery was built, turning the complex into an U-shaped ensemble.

The plan of the church is simple. It is made up of a tower, a small pentagonal pro-nave, a nave with a single trave and an altar of roughly the same size as the nave. On the right side of the altar there are two doors that connect it to the monastery. The first room of the monastery is the sacristy, followed by other rooms connected to a long corridor ending with the staircase that leads to the first floor. The roof for both the church and the monastery is made up of bohemian caps reinforced with arcs supported by pilasters. The pilasters of the altar are also decorative thanks to their composite caps. The facades are sober, with no decorative elements. The windows are simple, semicircular, and do not have profiled framings.In time, the monastery building changed its destination several times.

It hosted the Institute of Theology between 1895 and 1914 and the Primary School Teachers’ College between 1945 and 1948, and later was turned into a boarding house for Medical School female students.

Via. Images from here.